man entering a dark hotel room

Five Ways to
Deal When Employees
Go Rogue Booking
Business Travel



How can companies attract employees to use the provided travel management tools? These tips can help.

1. Go above and beyond with incentives.

Offer additional loyalty points and incentives within your travel program. For example, in addition to the base points travelers earn for booking quick business trips, offer bonus loyalty points, airline miles or gift cards that can be used for personal or family vacations. While many travel managers rely on education for compliance, few offer incentives for employees who book within the program. In other words, make it worth their time.


2. Encourage team leads to manage travel spending and policies.

Don't expect employees to remember the travel policy from orientation or gain a full understanding of how it works just because it's in the employee handbook. You might have to be more proactive to increase engagement. Encourage managers to make sure their teams know how and where to book travel. If someone is monitoring their booking plans and regularly educating them on policies, employees will be more likely to color within the lines.


3. Communicate how rate savings work on a larger scale.

Though employees may secure a lower one-time rate by booking direct, they might think twice before they take that route if they know they are jeopardizing double-digit rate discounts for the company as a whole. Be sure to explain the team-related benefits, such as that everyone will receive the perks of booking at scale and that their participation helps reach thresholds that unlock more discounts. But don't just make it about the company. Illustrating the benefits for employees is still necessary for their engagement.


4. Highlight the additional benefits.

Aside from incentive programs, it helps to make sure employees know why it's worth booking travel through company channels. Employee safety is big. Knowing how to contact and track employees in case of emergencies and unexpected developments is crucial. Convenience is another perk. Often, travel programs can help consolidate travel expenses, something that can take employees hours to organize, cutting into their productivity. And travel delays, because of weather or changes of plans, also become a lot smoother to deal with. No more painful calls with airlines begging them to throw you a bone or find you a new connection.


5. Make it easy to book travel.

Business travelers don't just visit online travel agencies for the choice. They also like that they're easy to use. They're fast, they have reviews, and the pictures are nice. If you want travelers to stop booking outside of your travel program, make sure your travel site and apps are as simple and easy to use as the online agencies that employees use to book vacations.


To learn more, you can read Scott's full article on